October 21, 2012 at 1:21 PM
Matt McGloin completed a pass to four tight ends, three wide receivers and two running backs Saturday night in Iowa City.
Regardless of whom the Hawkeyes chose to channel in on defensively, the fifth-year senior was often able to find an alternative option in space.
McGloin kept Iowa’s defense on its toes while orchestrating coach Bill O’Brien’s ‘NASCAR’-style offense, throwing 26 completions on 38 attempts for 289 yards. The quarterback led Penn State’s fast-paced offense to a decisive 38-14 victory.
McGloin got the scoring started with a 31-yard touchdown strike to the rarely targeted Jesse James on the team’s second drive. He followed that speedy 84-yard drive with his second touchdown pass to Allen Robinson — this one from eight yards out — to put the Nittany Lions up 14-0.
Robinson said McGloin has become the ultimate leader for the offense, acting as the team’s on-field coach.
“Coach O’Brien has given the keys of this offense to Matt,” Robinson said. “[O’Brien] calls the plays, but Matt has to check different plays, make different reads and even do audibles and stuff at the line. So I think this is definitely an offense that will fit Matt because I know Matt is definitely a commander of the line of scrimmage.”
McGloin also showed continued improvement in his pocket presence against the Hawkeyes, often buying his receivers more time to get open by escaping the rush. The quarterback was not sacked once in the contest. He also took off to rush five times for a total of 26 yards on the ground.
O’Brien said McGloin demonstrated his high football intelligence by making the right calls on such a high percentage of plays.
“Matt’s just a very bright guy, a competitive guy,” O’Brien said. “And he’s done a nice job of the operation this year, calling the play and understanding the play clock and understanding the situation. Through seven games, you can’t say enough about Matt McGloin.”
The quarterback said although there are several throws he’d like to have back, he’s encouraged about how the offense is clicking heading into the showdown with Ohio State next weekend.
“It’s neat to see how each and every week, we get more and more comfortable and how we continue to gel and come together as an offense,” McGloin said. “It’s to the point where everybody knows exactly what they’re doing on each and every play.”